Professor John Watson

AM
Professor of Medicine, Sydney Medical School
Associate Dean & Head, Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School
Director, Neurology & Stroke Service, Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai Hospital
Neurologist, Sydney Adventist Hospital

Telephone +61 2 9473 8777
Fax +61 2 9473 8779

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Biographical details

Professor John Watson is a neurologist who established and heads Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School, Sydney Medical School’s newest clinical school and the only fully-fledged clinical school in NSW operating within the private hospital setting. The school’s first batch of medical students graduated in 2015. Professor Watson also is a Visiting Fellow at the Howard Florey Institute at the University of Melbourne. He is a clinician-scientist whose major research interest is the study of specialised functions of the human brain, particularly the visual system, and more recently, language function and the functions of the parietal lobe. He notes, “I consider myself a sensory physiologist interested in understanding normal and abnormal brain structure and function at a systems level, within the posterior centres of the brain, particularly relating to vision and sensory integration in the parietal lobe”. He uses functional brain imaging such as PET and functional MRI to study visual physiology including human colour appreciation, visual motion, and edge detection. His work has resulted in major methodological contributions. He developed new methods of high-resolution magnetic resonance scanning to delineate specialised areas of human cortex in vivo. Additionally, he co-authored landmark studies identifying human brain areas critical for the detection of colour and motion, with two papers each receiving >1,000 citations. This work has been instrumental in advancing knowledge of the human brain and establishing the foundations for the rapid expansion of human neuroimaging. He has twice chaired the University of Sydney’s Human Research Ethics Committee. In 2015, Professor Watson was honoured as Member of the Order of Australia (AM) ‘for significant service to medicine in the field of neurology, to medical education and administration, and through mentoring roles’.

Research interests

Professor Watson’s research focuses on three main themes: (a) the study of function and structure of the brain (predominantly posterior brain centres including the occipital cortex and parietal cortex), using advanced brain imaging techniques; (b) methodological improvements related to these studies; (c) clinical studies that provide insight into normal and abnormal brain functions, across a wide range of human cognition. His interests extend from visual physiology and parietal lobe function, to the study of memory, dementias in young people, and cognitive dysfunction after hypoxic and hypotensive brain damage. He also has a clinical interest in stroke and has been involved in a number of international trials of agents designed to limit the amount of brain damage after a stroke, or to reduce the likelihood subsequent strokes. Professor Watson has established collaborations within Australia and internationally to undertake his program of research.

Selected grants

2015

  • Improving patients mental health and wellbeing through Tele-health feedback systems; Calvo R, Scott K, Dunn S, Watson J, Glozier N; DVC Research/HMR+ Implementation Fund - University.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Watson, J., Terpening, Z. (2007). Higher visuoperceptual disorders and disorders of spatial cognition. In Anthony Schapira (Eds.), Neurology and Clinical Neurosciences, (pp. 59-71). United States of America: Mosby Elsevier.

Journals

  • Hardy, T., O’Brien, B., Gerbis, N., Barnett, M., Reddel, S., Brewer, J., Herkes, G., Silberstein, P., Garsia, R., Watson, J., Gupta, R., Parratt, J., et al (2015). Brain histopathology in three cases of Susac's syndrome: Implications for lesion pathogenesis and treatment. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 86(5), 582-584. [More Information]
  • Hata, J., Arima, H., Zoungas, S., Fulcher, G., Pollock, C., Adams, M., Watson, J., Joshi, R., Kengne, A., Ninomiya, T., Anderson, C., Woodward, M., Patel, A., MacMahon, S., Chalmers, J., Neal, B., et al (2013). Effects of the endpoint adjudication process on the results of a randomised controlled trial: the ADVANCE trial. PloS One, 8(2), 1-7. [More Information]
  • Watson, J. (2013). Neuropsychology beyond psychometry. Medical Journal of Australia, 198(9), 507-507. [More Information]
  • Hornberger, M., Mohamed, A., Miller, L., Watson, J., Thayer, Z., Hodges, J. (2010). Focal retrograde amnesia: Extending the clinical syndrome of transient epileptic amnesia. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 17(10), 1319-1321. [More Information]
  • Miller, L., Caine, D., Watson, J. (2003). A role for the thalamus in memory for unique entities. Neurocase, 9(6), 504-514.
  • Watson, J., Givney, R., Pegler, M., Rose, B., Merlino, J., Vickery, A., Gottlieb, T., Bradbury, R., Harbour, C. (2003). Comparative analysis of multidrug-resistant, non-multidrug-resistant, and archaic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates from Central Sydney, Australia. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 41(2), 867-872.
  • Walters, N., Egan, G., Kril, J., Kean, M., Waley, P., Jenkinson, M., Watson, J. (2003). In vivo identification of human cortical areas using high-resolution MRI: an approach to cerebral structure-function correlation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 100(5), 2981-2986.
  • Merlino, J., Watson, J., Rose, B., Pegler, M., Gottlieb, T., Bradbury, R., Harbour, C. (2002). Detection and expression of methicillin/oxacillin resistance in multi-drug resistant and non resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Central Sydney Australia. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 49(5), 793-801.
  • Anthony, M., Rose, B., Pegler, M., Elkins, M., Service, H., Thamotharampillai, K., Watson, J., Robinson, M., Bye, P., Merlino, J., Harbour, C. (2002). Genetic analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from the sputa of adult Australian cystic fibrosis patients. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 40(8), 2772-2778.
  • Sader, M., Miller, L., Caine, D., McCredie, R., Corr, M., Robertson, M., Watson, J., Celermajer, D. (2002). Neuropsychological and psychiatric outcomes following coronary surgery or angioplasty: a comparative study. Heart, Lung and Circulation, 11(2), 95-101.
  • Merlino, J., Watson, J., Funnell, G., Gottlieb, T., Bradbury, R., Harbour, C. (2002). New screening medium for the detection and identification of methicillin/oxacillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) for nosocomial surveillance. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 21(5), 414-416. [More Information]
  • West, M., White, H., Simes, R., Kirby, A., Watson, J., Anderson, N., Hankey, G., Simes, S., Hunt, D., Tonkin, A. (2002). Risk factors for non-haemorraghic stroke in patients with coronary heart disease and the effect of lipid-modifying therapy with pravastatin. Journal of Hypertension, 20(12), 2513-2517.
  • Podzebenko, K., Egan, G., Watson, J. (2002). Widespread dorsal stream activation during a parametric mental rotation task, revealed with functional magnetic resonance imaging. NeuroImage, 15(3), 547-558. [More Information]
  • Miller, L., Caine, D., Watson, J., Harding, A., Thompson, E., Large, M. (2001). Right medial thalamic lesion causes isolated retrograde amnesia. Neuropsychologia, 39, 1037-1046.

Conferences

  • Miller, L., Monestario, G., Watson, J., Harding, A. (2011). Investigating the role of the right mediodorsal thalamic nucleus in retrograde memory. 17th Annual College of Clinical Neuropsychologists Conference, Sydney.

Patents

  • Tonti-Filippini, N., Bramwell, M., Chamberlain, D., Deuble, M., Gardner, J., Gleeson, G., Greenberg, P., Kosky, M., Morgan, J., Olver, J., Watson, J., et al (2008).
  • Watson, J. (2008).

2015

  • Hardy, T., O’Brien, B., Gerbis, N., Barnett, M., Reddel, S., Brewer, J., Herkes, G., Silberstein, P., Garsia, R., Watson, J., Gupta, R., Parratt, J., et al (2015). Brain histopathology in three cases of Susac's syndrome: Implications for lesion pathogenesis and treatment. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 86(5), 582-584. [More Information]

2013

  • Hata, J., Arima, H., Zoungas, S., Fulcher, G., Pollock, C., Adams, M., Watson, J., Joshi, R., Kengne, A., Ninomiya, T., Anderson, C., Woodward, M., Patel, A., MacMahon, S., Chalmers, J., Neal, B., et al (2013). Effects of the endpoint adjudication process on the results of a randomised controlled trial: the ADVANCE trial. PloS One, 8(2), 1-7. [More Information]
  • Watson, J. (2013). Neuropsychology beyond psychometry. Medical Journal of Australia, 198(9), 507-507. [More Information]

2011

  • Miller, L., Monestario, G., Watson, J., Harding, A. (2011). Investigating the role of the right mediodorsal thalamic nucleus in retrograde memory. 17th Annual College of Clinical Neuropsychologists Conference, Sydney.

2010

  • Hornberger, M., Mohamed, A., Miller, L., Watson, J., Thayer, Z., Hodges, J. (2010). Focal retrograde amnesia: Extending the clinical syndrome of transient epileptic amnesia. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 17(10), 1319-1321. [More Information]

2008

  • Tonti-Filippini, N., Bramwell, M., Chamberlain, D., Deuble, M., Gardner, J., Gleeson, G., Greenberg, P., Kosky, M., Morgan, J., Olver, J., Watson, J., et al (2008).
  • Watson, J. (2008).

2007

  • Watson, J., Terpening, Z. (2007). Higher visuoperceptual disorders and disorders of spatial cognition. In Anthony Schapira (Eds.), Neurology and Clinical Neurosciences, (pp. 59-71). United States of America: Mosby Elsevier.

2003

  • Miller, L., Caine, D., Watson, J. (2003). A role for the thalamus in memory for unique entities. Neurocase, 9(6), 504-514.
  • Watson, J., Givney, R., Pegler, M., Rose, B., Merlino, J., Vickery, A., Gottlieb, T., Bradbury, R., Harbour, C. (2003). Comparative analysis of multidrug-resistant, non-multidrug-resistant, and archaic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates from Central Sydney, Australia. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 41(2), 867-872.
  • Walters, N., Egan, G., Kril, J., Kean, M., Waley, P., Jenkinson, M., Watson, J. (2003). In vivo identification of human cortical areas using high-resolution MRI: an approach to cerebral structure-function correlation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 100(5), 2981-2986.

2002

  • Merlino, J., Watson, J., Rose, B., Pegler, M., Gottlieb, T., Bradbury, R., Harbour, C. (2002). Detection and expression of methicillin/oxacillin resistance in multi-drug resistant and non resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Central Sydney Australia. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 49(5), 793-801.
  • Anthony, M., Rose, B., Pegler, M., Elkins, M., Service, H., Thamotharampillai, K., Watson, J., Robinson, M., Bye, P., Merlino, J., Harbour, C. (2002). Genetic analysis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from the sputa of adult Australian cystic fibrosis patients. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 40(8), 2772-2778.
  • Sader, M., Miller, L., Caine, D., McCredie, R., Corr, M., Robertson, M., Watson, J., Celermajer, D. (2002). Neuropsychological and psychiatric outcomes following coronary surgery or angioplasty: a comparative study. Heart, Lung and Circulation, 11(2), 95-101.
  • Merlino, J., Watson, J., Funnell, G., Gottlieb, T., Bradbury, R., Harbour, C. (2002). New screening medium for the detection and identification of methicillin/oxacillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) for nosocomial surveillance. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 21(5), 414-416. [More Information]
  • West, M., White, H., Simes, R., Kirby, A., Watson, J., Anderson, N., Hankey, G., Simes, S., Hunt, D., Tonkin, A. (2002). Risk factors for non-haemorraghic stroke in patients with coronary heart disease and the effect of lipid-modifying therapy with pravastatin. Journal of Hypertension, 20(12), 2513-2517.
  • Podzebenko, K., Egan, G., Watson, J. (2002). Widespread dorsal stream activation during a parametric mental rotation task, revealed with functional magnetic resonance imaging. NeuroImage, 15(3), 547-558. [More Information]

2001

  • Miller, L., Caine, D., Watson, J., Harding, A., Thompson, E., Large, M. (2001). Right medial thalamic lesion causes isolated retrograde amnesia. Neuropsychologia, 39, 1037-1046.

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